Saturday, August 22, 2009

The latest in family pictures!

We had all our kids visit this summer, but not at the same time! They missed each other by a day. So here are the latest in family pictures - we included Dan, too! Andrew, Nick, Alena, Dan and Sam! Great looking bunch. Andrew is getting better at posing for pictures!
There we are. About to leave for the airport!

My Girls!

Kris and Thomas - she looks tired...mostly because it was about 85 degrees and SOOOOOOO humid! The camera lens kept fogging over!

Baby on Board - about 7 months!
I can't wait to meet that little person!

Pella, Iowa

Welcome to Pella, Iowa home of Pella windows. And all things Dutch. It is a beautiful town in Iowa that we visited on our way back from Camp Winsome. It is very Dutch and full of windmills and tiles. It also has nice public restrooms...just so you know! Apparently, tulips are big around here!
The city is so beautiful. Lots of trees and flowers, places to rest and relax.

This is off of the main street. It is just gorgeous. I love the S-shaped benches.

Very peaceful.

Andrew and I enjoying the sunshine.

Pretty fountain....

in a beautiful park.

Every town has a cannon.

But NOT a huge windmill.

Tile murals

Dan and Kris at the Dairy Queen!

Returning from shopping!

Playing around in the antique store!
Pella is a really nice town. It is so clean! If you get a chance, go see it!

Mason City, Iowa!!

As most of you know, we had my nephew Dan here for a month this summer! We sure had fun with him hanging out with us. We tend to try to do fun stuff when we travel, so that traveling doesn't get to be too much of a drag. One of the places we went was Mason City, IA. Not only is it home to one of our favorite missionaries, but it is the home of Meredith Wilson (well, he's dead). Can anyone tell me who Meredith Wilson is? You may not know off the top of your head, but I guaratee by the time you finish looking at this blog, you will know who he is! Meredith Wilson is the composer of the musical, "The Music Man". He based his play on a small town - Yup, Mason City, Iowa. The city has a beautiful museum and park next to Wilson's house. So, since we had already visited the Comic Book shop, we decided to go to Music Man Square!
The outside is really cool. The words to the song "Seventy-Six Trombones" are carved around the top of the building.
The museum sign.

The street of River City - This is a replica of the movie (the original) set. It is really neat.

And of course, the pool hall - "We've got trouble, right here in River City".
Doesn't it just make you want to burst into song? (okay, Kristine...go ahead!)

The livery stable where Professor Hill's friend worked.

Band uniforms from Mason City High School.

Remember the "Ye Gods" girl? Edith Tofflemier!

A replica of the high school. Inside it looks like the one in the movie set. Our friend's daughter got married here and had her reception outside.

When you walk out, the gardens are really neat.

Meredith Wilson's house. It is really cool. It is a museum too.

Brett, getting back to his roots. (really, he has a Native American heritage)

The Grand Finale!
Andrew, Sam, Brett and Dan.
You may ask why this is such a fun place for us to go. Well, I love musicals. The Music Man is one of my all time favorites. I did this play in High school back in 1980. Sam did this play last year. He played in the pit orchestra. It was really fun just to do something different that day. We had been working hard at VBS and were performing in the park later. Dan summed it all up in a conversation I had with him...Me: well, we do some weird things." Dan: "nope, you just do Unique things." So, if you are ever in Mason City, IA - go do something Unique!

Byron Days

Welcome to Small Town, USA! Home of the ByronFest Parade. While Cherie and Sue were here, Brett, Andrew, Cherie and I took in the parade and Quilt Show at the ByronFest. Byron is a small town about 12 miles from us. We saw a very nifty parade and Andrew won some prizes at the carnival! Lots of cute kids at the parade.

Andrew loves the clowns. He's seen these guys a couple of times since we see so many parades. But he still loves 'em!

The obligatory bagpiper.
Now as I look at this pictures, I kind of wonder what the lady on the left in the background is doing?

Okay, Andrew loved these guys! I just had to wonder what kind of "manliness" it takes to put on lycra suits and walk in a parade...but I do think the utility belts are pretty cool.

The actors from the community theater - can you guess what show they are doing?
Toto is pretty cute!

And the stilt walker! He was pretty good. It was a very hot and muggy day!

We are such party animals! Andrew won a shark and a duck. Really, he won them, not Brett. I think it was the bottle ring toss - once he finds the sweet spot, he can make it every time!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Ren Faire

Wow, words cannot express (ok, my words) how wild, wacky and really cool the Ren Faire is! We went up on July 25th for Kristine's birthday and because Dan wanted to go! It was really fun and definatly a people watchers paradise! We all had a good time, even Andrew, who enjoyed the joust, the pirates and the zoo. There was so much to see and do, so here are some pictures from that day! This juggler was amazing. He was part of a troupe of jugglers that did some amazing things.

So many booths and people and stuff!!!

The costumes were fabulous!

There was dancing!

King Arthur from Monty Python...with his coconuts.

And my favorite act of the day..

These guys were so funny!

Of course, you have to go to the Joust.

This was the knight we had to root for. He was young and he lost...

There he is with the Mistress of Ceremonies.
(by the time we jousted, the mosquitos were terrible! and it was hot.)

This is the Knight that won. He was a bad guy, but we loved him!

The Queen (I think, Elizabeth) came to the joust too.

A rat catcher...

This guy was really funny too. His name is Moonie.

He made us all laugh.
We went to the Faire with Joe and Val. It was great fun and I want to go back next year! Maybe with just Brett. It wasn't too expensive, but it was a long day for the boys.